LITTLETON (CBS) — A fire in Littleton that killed a 76-year-old woman on New Year’s Day was sparked by smoking materials, the State Fire Marshal said Wednesday.

“The fire began in the first floor living room and the victim was found in her recliner. She was known to be a heavy smoker,” said a statement released by the Fire Mashal, District Attorney and Littleton Fire/Police Departments.

The woman was identified as Jan Karner. Her husband escaped the fire and was treated for smoke inhalation.

littleton1 Smoking Determined To Be The Cause Of Fatal Littleton Fire

The home on King Street after the fire Monday morning. (WBZ-TV)

Fire crews who responded to the King Street home in January said hoarding made it difficult to fight the blaze.

The smoke alarms on the first and second floor were destroyed in the fire, according to the Fire Marshal, so it is unknown whether or not they were working. A smoke alarm in the basement was expired but potentially went off, although expired alarms should not be relied upon.

This was the first of five deaths in 2018 caused the improper use or disposal of smoking materials, according to the Fire Marshal. In 2017, there were 14.

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